As social media keeps growing, this world of social media influencers is expanding and becoming a legitimate career path for many people, mainly because a lot of people are communicating digitally through this period of quarantine. One such person who uses his influence to reach others through the social media platform, TikTok, is Jason Green, the host of the Relationships and Relationshits podcast. Through the platform, Jason is dishing out helpful tips and insights about intimacy, relationships, and attachment styles. He joins Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen on today’s episode to discuss these topics and share how he’s reaching people and influencing them through social media to make better choices about the different relationships in their lives.
Listen to the podcast here:
Intimacy, Relationships, And Attachment Styles With Jason Green
It’s an exciting and auspicious episode here. We have our very first return guest so far in the history of this show. Mr. Jason Green is back. For those of you long time readers, or if it’s your first time, our previous episode with Jason Green about the World of Attachment Styles is our most downloaded episode. The response, the comments, and the shares have been phenomenal for that episode. We decided to invite our good friend Jason back for the second time. Some things are different this time around. First of all, when we did that first episode with Jason about Attachment Styles, I was single at that time. Now, I am in a relationship. I’m getting to apply some of the lessons, the perspectives, and the wisdom that Jason Green shared with us on that previous episode. It’s been fascinating to go back and reference some of those touchpoints, and some of the golden nuggets that he dropped in that episode.
Did you actually reference them?
You went back and referenced some of the points that he made or from memory?
From memory. In particular, the aspects of how my avoidant behavior shows up, and how that intermingles with the other attachment style. Rather than it being a theoretical conversation or Jason Green dropping knowledge bombs all over the place. Now it’s like, “I remember what he said about that,” and how I show up. With all that said, Jason Green, thank you for being back here. It’s exciting to have you. Looking forward to seeing where the hell this episode goes.
I want to start off by saying it must be so fascinating because we did that episode with Jason Green in February of 2020. A lot has changed in the world. First of all, we hadn’t quite experienced much of COVID in the United States at that point, so we saw Jason Green in person before we went into quarantine. A lot has shifted in that sense. I’m glad that we got to meet you in person, Jason Green, because I feel like I have a more intimate experience of you since we’re going to talk a lot about intimacy in this episode. It’s been amazing because you’ve been on quite the journey with your career. In a short amount of time, how much it has shifted.
I imagine some people are reading to this that found you through TikTok, which is how I found you in the first place. That’s how you and I met. We’ve done TikTok workshops together to share your experience and all of the things that you’re learning through using the platform. When you came on the show, you were somebody who had read a book and felt passionate about, but I imagine your knowledge and passion for relationship attachments has grown much since the last episode. I’m excited to dive in with you.
Thank you, guys, for having me a second time. I was curious if I was going to be the first repeat. I was going to joke with Jason. I assume that once he figured out he was avoidant, that he’s already been married, and had children by then.
Wouldn’t that be incredible if it was that easy? “I know my attachment styles. All of my relationship problems are over.”
That’s what I tell people on TikTok. “Here’s this a tool, you still have to do some work.” It’s not going to fix everything overnight, but it’s a good start.
I feel eager to dive in and ask you many things that you’ve learned through corresponding with people on TikTok. First of all, what is the audience that you’re reaching the most? I’m sure you can see this a bit through TikTok analytics. How old are these people? Through a scan of your accounts, it’s mostly women. Is that right? Do you know what the ratio is for men to women?
It’s 90% women, which I expected.
How about the age range?
I haven’t seen age, but I would say it’s probably 20 and 30 years old. TikTok is still a younger audience, but there are some of us old people on there. It’s a younger crowd. There are teenagers too.
First of all, what is it like for you? Since this is new, and it’s not you’ve been studying as a therapist or even an author, and suddenly you’re being viewed as an expert on this subject matter. What does that even feel to be seen as somebody that’s knowledgeable with something and people are coming to your account to learn from you. What does that feel like?
It’s awesome. For one thing, it is a little weird because in my bio, I put not a therapist because I get a lot of other questions and I’m trying to stay specific to this. I can give you my own opinion of my own experiences. It’s weird because there are 4 or 5 other people talking about mental health and they’re psychologists or therapists. It’s weird to see them follow me or give me good comments. I’m, “I got it.” There’s always that fear. I don’t want to give the wrong information. It’s weird every day. It’s hard to keep up with the comments. Every day I get something, “You called me out on this,” or something, “How to TikTok? I need to hear this.” It’s cool to see that or the positive experiences. Sometimes people break-up with people based on what I say too.
How do you know that? Do they tell you?
I did one. How hard it is for an anxious person to leave the avoidant because you see all the good, and you see the potential. I posted that and it was 3, 4 videos. People are, “I’m breaking up with him.” I’m like, “I didn’t mean that.”
That’s quite a feeling of almost power. That to me is a whole other level of influence because the word influence gets tossed around much. What it means to be an influencer, this is a form of influence. You’re not trying to get people to buy something. You’re getting somebody to rethink their lives, their behavior, and make different decisions based on what you’re sharing. That is a sense of power, authority, and expertise that you’re developing here.
How much preparation do you do before you record these? I’m fascinated. TikTok is an amazing platform because you could go on there and spend seconds to make a video. That’s been my experience sometimes. Other times I’ll spend upwards of maybe an hour, if I’m doing a recipe or have done things in multiple steps. It takes a while. For you, Jason, I’ve been meaning to ask you this. I don’t know why I haven’t yet, but your style is that you film yourself and you’re not speaking and you’re putting text on the screen. In essence, you could record a bunch of videos of yourself in different locations and then figure out what you’re going to put on the screen later as text. Is that how you do it or do you know what you’re going to write on screen before you record your video?
I try to mix up between 15 and 60 seconds. With the fifteen, I usually do text, and I spend 10 to 15 minutes thinking about what I’m going to do. I have four books I’m reading about attachment. I will find something and I’m like, “That’s a good one to use.” If you follow me on TikTok, I’m usually outside. I have a theme or I’m out hiking.
In front of the cactuses in Arizona. That’s where you’re based.
I try to make an interesting background. I think with influencers, sometimes they have a theme and so I was like, “I’m already hiking. Let me go ahead and do it out here.” Because I can’t remember everything I’m saying, I have a little note card that I have to help me with preparation. I spend 10 to 15 minutes a day trying to think of the next thing. If I see a song that’s trending, “How can I make this apply? How can I get this theme to go with it?” I did one about sex, and so I did Salt-N-Pepa. I did Push It. They didn’t have a, “Let’s talk about sex,” but I was like, “I’ll do Push It.” It gets you in that sex mind.
It definitely gets me. When I want to get into sex mind, Salt-N-Pepa. That’s ‘80s, ‘90s R&B all the way.In this world, you just never know who you're going to reach. Click To Tweet
Are you serious? I can’t tell if you’re serious about that. I would believe it if you told me that it was a true statement.
I think that it’s a bit on the nose, ‘80s, and ‘90s R&B. If someone comes with Pony by Ginuwine. You’re going to laugh, and laughter is a good sexual lubricant mentally. I don’t know that I’d have that playing while I’m having sex. It’s like pre-sex and be, “You’re funny. You’re cute. We’re going to get it on.” Playing during sex, it’s funny. A lot of songs about sex are so on the nose that having sex to them is too much. You’re going to have sex to Let’s get it on by Marvin Gaye. A little too direct. It’s like, “We know what we’re doing here. I got it.” That’s how I feel about it. As a pre-game warm-up, excellent choices.
Jason Green, do you feel comfortable talking about sex on this platform knowing that there’s a younger audience on TikTok? For me, 20 to 30-year-old women, they can handle it. You also could potentially be reaching teenagers. You, as a parent, have this different insight into that age range. How old are your kids?
Seventeen to twenty-four. Four of them.
They’re the perfect age range for you to reflect on things with them. I doubt that they want to talk with their dad about sex, but I could be wrong.
It’s funny, as I was the first one on TikTok of all of us. They are slowly coming over. I’m the one telling them, “Come on, get on here. It’s fun.”
Are they both sons?
It’s two girls, two boys. The one who is at home is a boy.
For some reason I was thinking two kids, you have four kids in total. That’s great that you can ask them what they would think about these things if you felt comfortable. Do they want to discuss this with you? Do they want to share their input, or are they like, “No, dad. That’s your thing. We don’t care?”
When I had that one video go viral, my oldest son, he’s been keeping track of it. He’s always coming up with stuff. Before, he was anti-social media. My seventeen-year-old who lives with me, he’s embarrassed by all of it pretty much.
A trend you see on TikTok is parents doing things, and writing in their captions that their kids are embarrassed by them. It’s funny how that works. I suppose I’d probably be a little embarrassed. For me doing social media for so long, I think it’s cool. My dad’s on Twitter and active on there. He sometimes posts things that I’m like, “Dad, that’s a little weird,” but I know that’s because he’s my dad. For the most part, it’s amazing that he’s on there. My mom uses Facebook and Instagram. You see them learning things that come so intuitively to us since we’ve been in this social media world for so long. The older generations are figuring it out. It’s a struggle for them. I’m sure with your kids, it’s extra easy for them. It’s interesting that your kids are not that active on social media, or TikTok specifically.
I don’t know why they aren’t. Not that they don’t have social media, but they’ll take breaks, which is good. It’s too much if you’re always on it. They’re not on it as much as their age group is for sure.
I was going to say what’s interesting to me too is the incidents of, at least statistically, some of the research I’ve been looking at around mental health, anxiety disorders, emotional wellness, and stress around young people who are using a lot of social media all the time. It’s interesting to note that there’s a correlation there in some studies. I’m curious, Jason Green, do you notice observationally that perhaps your kids don’t necessarily have those issues because they don’t use it as much? I’m curious because we know that there’s an effect on the dopamine levels in the brain, the serotonin levels, and the overuse of social media. I’m curious as to what your observation is in terms of the mental health and emotional wellness of your kids in relation to their restricted social media use.
I think overall my kids are pretty well-behaved and good kids. I’m sure it does help not focusing on social media. If anything’s going to affect them, it’s life experiences, like divorce. Overall, they’re good as far as their mental health. I do have one kid that does struggle with some mental health issues but not related to anything to social media. They’re not too bothered by it, which is good. The less they do, I think the better. I can see it, even from my perspective, TikTok is so amazing as far as the reach, but even that, I should be totally happy with how many followers. Like you, I still have those goals, “I could get more,” and you’re like, “I shouldn’t worry about that. I should be glad I can reach out to 120,000 people,” but then you’re, “I could get one million.” It affects you.
It becomes a slippery slope. Jason Wrobel and I have been down that road a lot, and still have to work through that a lot. For you, Jason Green, as relatively new to the world of influence and having this audience. It came upon you quickly. Sometimes I feel protective over you. I hope your mental health is doing okay because this is something that you see with a lot of people. I imagine Charlie who’s been massively successful in TikTok. She rose to fame quickly. She was some girl dancing in her bedroom. The next thing you know, she’s the most popular person on TikTok and one of the most influential people in social media. That’s an intense experience to have very quickly. While you might not be quite at that level of audience size yet, it has been a very rapid growth for you. How have you been managing that emotionally?
The good things with this I can turn it off when I want to. It’s clips and then I can do my own life, but I’m not Charlie. I’m not going to get recognized on the streets for sure. It’s not too bad. I’m an adult, so it makes it easier as far as Charlie’s age. It’s having a happy balance, and I’m okay with it. It is weird, but at the same time, I’m trying to help as many people as possible. I’m like, “If I get more followers, then that’s many more people I can help.” I see those comments or people message me. It’s weird to get someone to say, “You changed my life.” I’m like, “I’m repeating what I learned.” I’m not a psychologist or a therapist, but it’s the thing of having a positive effect. That’s all I care. I don’t worry too much about how it affects my mind. I’ve served twenty years in the military, I’ve experienced way worse than this stuff. It’s not that big of a deal as I look at it.
That’s amazing that you have that perspective. A teenager certainly is going to be approaching it from a different place and mentally they’re still developing. In a way, it’s nice that’s happening for you at this stage in your life where it’s like you’ve had enough experience and mental preparation to guide you through these big changes in your life. To your point, you don’t think that you’re going to be recognized. I think Jason Wrobel could beg to differ. Both of us have been recognized off and on throughout our careers no matter what our audience size has been. One time, I was with Jason in the small town in California and he got recognized three times in a matter of a couple of hours. Remember Jason Wrobel when we were out in Santa Monica for the 4th of July. We ran into this guy and he was, “Aren’t you Jason from YouTube?”
It’s interesting because in this world, you never know who you’re going to reach because you have your numbers, and you have your audience size. Out of all the followers that you have on there, not every single person is going to comment. We don’t know all of the individuals that we’re reaching, which is fascinating to have those real-time in the world interactions. It takes me off guard because it’s a wonderful thing to have someone take time out of their day or master the courage to physically come up to you and say, “Aren’t you so-and-so?” “I love your videos,” or “I love your blog,” or “I love your TV series.” I wouldn’t be surprised, Jason, as you continue to grow and hunker down in this message and this niche you have with relationships and attachment styles that random people will start coming up to you. I feel it’s bound to happen. It’s cool because I always feel getting that feedback is a little bit more fuel. To be like, “Okay.” It seems sometimes when those things happen, it’s when you don’t know about at a low point but, “I don’t feel doing this anymore.” Someone comes up to you randomly on the street, you’re like, “I am actually reaching humans. They’re not numbers on a screen.” To me, that always feels bolstering.
That’s important too because we can get very caught up in the numbers game. Like you were saying, Jason Green. It never feels like enough. I think part of that is because we attach our success to those metrics. To Jason Wrobel’s point, when you put one person in front of you, and you see this actual face that also becomes more important than any number, knowing that you are affecting one person’s life. It’s been an interesting thing, especially as social media keeps growing and this world of social media influencers is expanding and becoming this legitimate career path for a lot of people. It’s tough when you’re so focused on how many people you’re reaching, versus affecting the individuals and having more in-person experiences as a major benefit. That’s tough because a lot of us are communicating digitally through this period of quarantine. Even outside of quarantine, you may never meet certain people because they live in different parts of the world. It’s an interesting experience in a lot of ways.
Speaking of people, I saw one of the pieces of feedback that were coming through in your TikTok was when you were recommending that previous episode of the podcast that you’re on, and how a lot of people wanted to skip to the juicy parts. I appreciate anybody who’s been following us talk about all of these different things, but we should give them juicy elements of attachment styles if that’s what led them here. What would be interesting is given that Jason Wrobel was sharing the difference in his life or he was since, going from the single guy, talking about attachment styles to the guy in a relationship. It’d be interesting to hear you guys talk about what’s changed in both of your lives. Jason Green, do you have any questions for Jason Wrobel based on how much has changed in his life, and maybe you can do another assessment on him like you did in the last episode?
I was excited. I was like, “I wonder what’s happening in his life,” because you don’t see it on social media that part of his life. I was curious because avoidants are the hardest to get them to recognize that they have something. They know, “I feel this way,” but they don’t know how to name to it. That’s where I get with my TikTok a lot. Finally, that woke me up. I’m interested in how it changed him over time. As I said, it’s a gradual process. It’s not an overnight thing. Jason, fill us in.
For me, it’s not the awareness and the acknowledgment of my avoidant tendencies, which I want to learn more about and I want to get more information about how that shows up. Based on our last conversation, Jason, where you went into some specific detail about how that tendency manifests in relationship. I’ve been mindful of noticing the balance between my desire for alone time. I’ve mentioned this in a previous episode. My desire for time to create and focus on my projects, the show, on my music, and on the creative projects I have in the world. A lot of times before, I noticed that I’ve used those not as excuses, but as reasons to keep someone at arm’s length.
It’s like, “I’m going to let you in, but I’m only going to let you far in because I don’t want you monopolizing my time and monopolizing my creative space.” One thing I’ve been practicing in this new relationship is a higher, more clear and refined level of communication where there’s togetherness, there’s the relishing of the togetherness, and being as present as possible when I’m in her presence. Also being honest with her about, “I think tonight, it would be good if I stayed home and focused on reading, my music, or my journaling.” For lack of a better word, I’m relaxing my avoidant behaviors a little bit. I don’t know what Laura’s attachment style is because we haven’t discussed it, although it probably should be up for discussion.
I would have to say she’s probably got more anxious tendencies from what I understand. I’m mindful of the interactivity between my avoidant baseline and what I perceive as her anxious baseline. I’m trying to strike a balance between those two where I’m trying not to keep the people I care about at arm’s length, but also realize that her attachment style is different than mine. That’s been interesting to put it into practice in real-time. On one point, Jason, you brought up about titles or calling a certain thing. I’m comfortable calling her my girlfriend and saying that we’re in a relationship. That has not been uncomfortable for me. The biggest challenge I still have is being clear and accurate in my communication when I want to communicate that I need my alone time, my creative time, and making sure that she understands it’s not a rejection of her. It’s a desire that I need space to create in this bubble. That’s how I create best.Your relationship with your parents or caretakers directly affects your romantic relationships. Click To Tweet
I think I talked to the last one is avoidant and anxious attract each other a lot. There’s a good chance that she has some anxious in her. If she’s secure with, maybe a little bit anxious. For people out there, we call it the anxious-avoidant trap. If you have somebody who’s avoidant and is not open like Jason, what’s going to happen is that anxious person is going to become more anxious. That avoidant person becomes more avoidant. You have this yo-yo effect. They break-up and they get back together. It’s good that you’re at least letting her know because no matter what, she’s got to also adapt to you. You adapt to each other, it’s a mutual thing. Being open, she still could have those thoughts, “Why doesn’t he want to hang-out with me?” At least you’re up front. If you both learn your attachment styles, it helps that person understand like, “He wanted to be creative. He doesn’t want to find a new girlfriend.” Once that anxious is turned on, it’s hard to turn off. That’s good that you’re open with her on that.
It seems there are spectrums for all of these different attachment styles. I remember Jason Wrobel sharing with me how certain women he’s been with have been very anxious. One woman, in particular, was anxious about the future and anxious about how much time he was spending with her. Noticing the difference of this current relationship that Jason Wrobel is in, maybe she is on the anxious spectrum especially because of the patterns and the tendency that anxious and avoidants tend to have in relationship with each other. Jason Wrobel, it seems maybe it’s not a matter of finding someone who isn’t anxious, but maybe it’s someone who’s less anxious than others. Would you say that’s right?
For me, it goes back to how that manifests. First of all, how do I observe my avoidant tendencies manifesting in what contexts and in what aspects of the relationship? Are there intimacy triggers that come up consistently? If I’m honest about it, an intimacy trigger is if something I perceive is going too fast, too quickly, and that’s not necessarily limited to the romantic context of relationship. If things are going too quickly sometimes in my career or things are going too quickly with a creative project, or there’s an energy of someone involved in the relationship, be it creative or business or intimate romantic. That’s like, “Come on, let’s do this.” Whether “I want to get married quickly,” or “Let’s invest in this thing.” “Let’s go to a VC round funding.” There’s a part of me that gets anxious when someone wants to crank the intimacy meter too quickly. That’s something that I put my hands on. I’m like, “No.” It’s noticing that in my avoidant tendencies that’s when it gets triggered.
In terms of your question, Whitney, about being more or less anxious, I think it depends on the source of the anxieties and what the route is. One of the things that I’ve been interacted with women that I’ve been with dated or had relationships with who wanted to have kids, getting to the heart of it with some of them was not necessarily about the baby coming out. It was what that represented, fulfilling what I perceive as my purpose as a woman on the planet that’s tied to motherhood. The conversation of the biological clock ticking. If we don’t do it now, it’s never going to happen. However, the avoidant-anxious tendencies manifest, I always want to get to try and get to the psychological root of what’s motivating those behaviors.
If you remember, we’re talking about the strange situation test with the babies.
That’s the one that I laughed at because I recall the one baby. Mom came back in and he was like, “I don’t need you.” I was like, “Ding.” I remember that part of it. It’s like, “That’s me.”
I thought about that as you were talking because one thing I’ll add to is with avoidants, they have this tough exterior, but they don’t. It’s a self-defense mechanism. For people that read the last episode, the avoidant baby doesn’t care that mom left and came back. They’re like, “Whatever. I’m going to make my own ham sandwich.” You might have done your own thing, but what they do with the avoidant, they still want that affection. They’ve been taught at a young age that they’re not going to get it from that person or they’re going to be punished in some way. You might have your back to that person as a baby, but you will move towards mom to know what comfort level you can get without making mom upset or whoever that parent is. The avoidant does want that love and affection, but they don’t know how to get that without upsetting the parent and which then becomes the romantic relationship. I learned they still want the stuff. It’s a learned behavior, unfortunately. Our parents helped develop our brain those first couple of years.
I have an overarching question, Jason. I’m curious how you feel about this too. Whitney, feel free to lend your perspective. I enjoy a lot of aspects of traditional Zen Buddhism. One of the core teachings of the Buddha and that religion is this idea that attachment brings suffering. If you perceive attachment as a healthy thing in general, the idea of being attached, no matter what the style is. If having a level of attachment is a healthy thing in the context of a relationship, and how you feel that contrasts with the foundational Buddhist Zen idea of if you get attached to a person, a thing, an outcome, or an expectation, any attachments. Inevitably, it brings suffering. I’m curious, what is your philosophy on that?
I think we all need attachment of some course, whether it be romantic or family. It’s important. Unfortunately, with that comes the risk that we’re going to get disciplined, someone’s going to disappoint us. Someone’s going to break our hearts. If you get the right attachment, that’s going to outweigh all those things that happened before that. I do agree with as far as not having a lot of attachments. I’m at a point where I’m becoming a minimalist. I don’t need all these things. I don’t need to work so I can have a fancy car, a big car payment. It makes life easier with the less you have. It’s about getting those few key attachments. I don’t need to have 100 friends. If you have a handful of quality friends and someday find that right person. It will be worth it in the long run. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of pain that goes through in between that.
For someone, who I suppose, is a little bit reticent to get back into a new relationship. I know this is something that I’ve experienced where I sometimes get too fixated on perhaps past disappointments, past pain, or past heartbreak. I don’t want to bring that into the new relationship. Probably baggage is what they call it to a lesser get emotional baggage. I find myself at times, depending on the levels of intimacy I go to with a person with those intimacy triggers of something will happen, something I’ve done, or something she’ll say or I’ll say. Some aspects of the situation where I get triggered because that reminds me of something that happened with my last relationship that ended, the pain that we experienced there, or the heartbreak there. I’m curious if you have any tips or tools for someone who perhaps is entering a new relationship or getting into a new relationship, and experience triggers that maybe don’t have anything to do with the actual present situation, but that are triggering past wounds. Maybe making that person scared to move forward. How do you recommend handling that in the moment?
This is what I recommend a lot on TikTok for people, but first, therapy is always the most important thing. Whether you need it for maintenance or you need it every week. Especially in avoidants and anxious too, but they’re both insecure. There’s always some type of thing that may be repressed. It’s always good to get at the source. If you at least have that foundation. Unfortunately, you can’t go back to the twenty relationships you had before. It’s hard to not think about that. I know for myself, I’ve had fewer relationships, but that’s because of my attachment style. I take time in between. It’s a struggle to not have that, about how that person was before or whatever and compare. Therapy is the best option honestly. That’s to get the core of why you are the way you are, how all of us are. From that point, it helps a lot more for the next step. For me learning all this stuff, I’m doing to make myself better for the next person. It’s a slow process, but the more you know about this stuff, the better you’ll be. Communicate better. Communication is the biggest key to me.
Since you’ve been doing all of this reading, Jason, especially since we last spoke with you on the show, you’ve educated yourself a lot over a short period of time. What other a-ha moments have you had about relationships? I know part of your story was reflecting back on at least one hard relationship that you discussed with us. I don’t know if you’re dating anybody or if you want to share any of that. How are you applying this to your life besides what you’re doing internally? Have you been learning some new tactics and can those help you with your family dynamic as well? Is it changing the way you relate to your kids or your kid’s mother? How is that shifting for you in your life?
I do notice with my kids, the only one who is in a relationship is my oldest daughter. I’ve noticed that she’s similar to me in some aspects. I only have one kid at the house, but I try to make sure I understand him more, hang around him more. He’s a kid, he’s going to play Xbox for eight hours a day. In between those times, being there for him and not pushing him out the door, even though he’s the last kid. As far as the other dating rules, since secure is my strongest attachment. I take time more in between. That breakup that led me to all this, I took a long time off and worked on myself. I got into this pretty deep. I’m going to focus on this. If someone approaches me, then I will talk to them. It’s that philosophy I had at that moment. I was like, “I’m going to take a break.” I joined hot yoga, and there are not a lot of guys there.
I forgot we had hot yoga in common.
I did it because of military injuries. It’s the best thing for me. I had two people approach me and it didn’t work out. It’s funny because I was using it to small talk with them. I’m figuring them out. I’m talking to one and I’m like, “She’s avoidant or disorganized.” We don’t talk about that much. I was like, “I don’t know about this.” I’m single. It didn’t work out, but I had a period like that. Right before COVID, I was like, “It’s time to get back into the dating world.” COVID happened. I was like, “Maybe not.”
One thing with the anxious side of me, you get focused on that one person, and it’s quick. It takes me a while to get to that one person, but once I’m in a couple of dates in and I’m like, “This is my person. I’m going to focus on this person only.” It’s okay to date multiple people in the beginning and figure out what you like or don’t like. At some point, you’re like, “I want to focus on this one person.” That’s where I’m at. I am talking to more than one person, thanks to TikTok. I think that’s the weirdest part of this whole TikTok thing, my direct messages aren’t working because I had two accounts and I’m like, “Am I in TikTok jail for 30 days for direct messaging?” I don’t even know what I would get from that, but sometimes I get comments and they message me. I have talked to two people from there.
I wonder how many people ended up dating people from TikTok. Jason Wrobel has met a lot of women through Instagram. I imagine it’s got to be similar on TikTok in a lot of ways. Especially if people are seeing your face. Your account, especially Jason Green, is so vulnerable and it’s probably very attractive to a lot of women, “This guy is working on himself and he knows a lot about relationships. This is great.”
That’s the challenge. I thought about that when I was on here, I was, “I should already ask Jason about this.” I wasn’t expecting it. It’s great when you get attention, someone looks that you’re attractive. Also, it’s a little weird too because it’s all ages. One of the videos I did was on daddy issues. I did that because a couple of people I did a thing about. My viral video was fifteen seconds. It says, “Your relationship with your parents/caretakers directly affects your romantic relationships.” I’ve got a couple of comments about me as one person called me daddy. I don’t know how to respond to that, but it’s flattering. At the same time, I was like, “I’m trying to help people out.” If I find a girlfriend through this, then great.
Jason Wrobel gets called daddy pretty often. He can certainly talk to you about this. I find it so amusing.
My kids love it. I have a group text with my oldest too. As I look at it, I got called daddy. I don’t know how to react. I thought they think it’s hilarious. My daughter had this rule like, “Dad, they have to be closer to your age than my age.” She’s 24 and I was like, “I have such strict rules.” They’re an adult. I don’t care. If we vibe, we vibe. There’s still part of me, “I should get somebody closer to my age.” I go back and forth, but whatever. I’m single and I don’t care. I’m like, “The more people I can spread the message, the better.”
Jason Wrobel, I’d be curious to hear your input on being called daddy as well as dating younger women because you also get hit up by a lot of young girls on there, and it seems like a conundrum sometimes. What are you feeling?
It’s interesting because it’s a new phenomenon. In the sense that I think once I hit maybe 39, right before my 40s, it’s been all of a sudden out of the blue. Daddy this, Daddy that. Previous to 39, I never got those comments at all. I want to go on a slight tangent because I am, in some ways, a little bit too critical, or self-defeating about my gray hair coming in, the signs of aging, and the laugh lines around my eyes. Aging is an inevitable thing. I like to take good care of myself. It’s been a bit weird the past few years of, “Hello, gray hair. Welcome to your 40s.” All of a sudden, gray hair, wrinkles. I’m making it more of a big deal than it is, to be honest about it. It’s more of one of those things. We talked about it in one of our earliest episodes here on the show about mortality. When you get injured, it takes longer to recover from a sports injury, whatever the case may be.
I’m noticing that my body’s changing, but my own self-deprecating thoughts are completely opposite of the younger women that I’ve dated, including the one I’m with, who there’s a fifteen-year age gap. She’s like, “I love your gray hair. I want more of it. I love your laugh lines.” Even though my hairline’s receding a little bit. The way she perceives me and some of the other women that I’ve dated that have been younger than me. They celebrate those things. They love the grays. They love the laugh lines. They love the signs of aging. I’m like, “You do?” They’re like, “Yes.” It’s almost a part of me doesn’t believe it. That’s been an interesting contrast, but it’s been a fascinating social experiment. All these women are like, “Daddy.”
I could go way deeper into the sexual dynamics of that too. I have noticed observationally of my own experiments that women who bring those daddy issues into the bedroom, it can get exciting. I recognize that you have some trauma and you have some things that probably would be good in therapy. They’re also good for some sexual things too. It’s like, “Go work on it. Please work on it, heal it, but don’t lose the ferocity. Don’t lose the panther-like passion of the daddy shit in the bedroom.” That was a long rant. Maybe TMI, maybe not.Secure persons may come off as boring, but they’re the ones who will be there for the long haul. Click To Tweet
I love hearing that. It’s funny too because as Jason’s friend, but also a former girlfriend of his, when Jason Wrobel gets insecure about things like gray hair and wrinkles, I don’t even notice them on you, Jason. I wonder how often men think this about women because women are vocal about their insecurities on their bodies. Men, not so much. It’s fascinating how different genders react to their age and all of these. Men aren’t quite as outspoken about it. There is this almost societal feeling that men are sexy when they’re getting older, even though you might feel insecure about it. They’re still like, “Men are aging like a fine wine.” Whereas there’s a lot more seemingly pressure on women to hide their age a lot over time. Maybe it’s a lot harder for men than other people realize.
Being in quarantine, I didn’t do a lot of exercising so I gained 15 pounds. None of it was muscle. I was feeling overweight from what I’m used to. When I started getting some of that attention from some younger women, I’m like, “It’s not as important as I’m making out to be.” We don’t talk about it as guys as far as we worry about stuff like that. We still want someone to be attracted to us. It does feel a little weird when they’re younger, but it does feel good overall.
It’s like dating in general. There’s the side of dating where you can go on an app and set all your filters for the type of person you want to be with. You might filter out some amazing people. If you’re concerned with age, height, location, and appearance, and all of these other factors. We’ve talked about this in previous episodes. We’ve certainly talked a lot about relationships and how there’s this tendency to want to find the perfect person, this ideal person. I remember in one episode, Jason Wrobel and I talked about what it means to be in an ideal relationship. A lot of times we’re creating this fantasy person and we have it in our mind of what would be the right match for us. I think what you guys are talking about here, especially when it comes to age, is that does matter that much how old somebody is. There’s often a maturity associated with age, but there’s never a defining time in somebody’s life where they shift. Another thing that you’re bringing up here, Jason Green, is that you’re changing a lot by diving into this research. Your maturity could be growing quickly in a short span of time.
One of the wonderful things that you’re bringing to people through your TikTok account is you’re helping people who are younger to learn something that they might not have come across until they were much older. That’s one of the huge benefits of having people that are older than you as a resource. They’re sharing that information that you might not even be or feel interested in until you get older. Maybe it sounds boring to read a bunch of these books, but you’re translating it into a medium that appeals to younger people. Teaching them these things so they can become more emotionally mature and prepared for relationships. Thus, in a way you’re even making it less of an issue about how old somebody is.
I’m hoping because I do have a younger audience, they’ll have less. We’re going to go through bad things no matter what, but hopefully, it’s minimal for them. They don’t go twenty years and then, “What happened?” Maybe they only go 5 or 6 years and then figure it out. I’m glad I can at least reach them with this younger audience. It is getting older, but we’re running for the kids by getting on TikTok. Hopefully, I can at least wake them up to what it is. It’s anxious and avoidant people that are responding. I like for one getting the avoidant person to at least recognize it. That’s their journey. However, they work on it or someone who’s like an anxious stating and avoiding, they’re like, “That’s my boyfriend right there.” Next question is, “How do I fix that?” I’m glad I can at least put that in their head. I’ve had some people like, “I’m going to therapy because of you,” for a good reason. It’s nice because I’m helping somebody’s mental health. They can figure it out quickly because I’d hate to see someone go for a long period and not realize what’s going on. The quicker you can get them to acknowledge what it is, at least a name and go from there, the better. Life’s short. You’ve got to make the most of it.
I’m curious which books you’ve been reading because when we were talking in the last episode, we had both read the book Attached. You said that you’re reading four books. Can you share some of the books that you’ve read, which that you’ve enjoyed? What are some of the books, Jason, that you’ve been reading, and what have you found helpful?
You mentioned Attached, that one I reread constantly. That’s the best first book. It’s easy to read and there’s a detachment test in there, so you can figure it out. You can also find it online too. If you discover either you’re with an avoidant or you are an avoidant, there’s one by Jeb Kinnison, it’s called Avoidant: How to Love (or Leave) a Dismissive Partner. They do talk a little bit about everything else. It’s focused on you’re with an avoidant, is it worth it or not? What you need to do. I’ve got another one, Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents. I got that one. I can’t say much about it. It seemed it could somehow fit into that. The one I got is Attachment in Psychotherapy. It’s more therapist related, so it’s a little challenging for sure. I just started it. I would recommend Attached and then the Avoidant by Jeb Kinnison. Those are two good ones to at least start you on that. Also, my podcast.
In terms of tests too, you’ve linked to three different tests on your TikTok account. Tell us more about these tests and why did you recommend these specific tests? What can you do with the results when you take a test to find out if you’re anxious, avoidant, or secure?
On my TikTok, I have three different attachments, they’re all good. I’d start with Dr. Fraley, that’s the best one. I know you saw me post, but we crashed their website because many people go over there. It’s good to at least show your foundation of what you are. With that one, you can do it later. Jason could do it, or before the relationship and then in the relationship, and you can see how you would move. You answer questions about your mom, your dad, and your general overall stuff. You can see how it moves. I’ve done it three times, but I was single all three times. You can see how you are in a relationship. That’s a good foundation. Have that knowledge of what you are to get you started. There are two other ones in there. One shows the spectrum. As I said, I’m secure, but that’s not 100% secure. I’ve got anxious and avoidant too. I have less of that than the others. My first link in there has the attachment tests that show you a percentage. It’s a good first foundation and then you can work on it with somebody or yourself. I know from my personal experience, knowing my attachment style, and what I’m strongest in and then the anxious part. Now that I know all three, mainly it helps me identify things and helps me make sure I don’t do things that are negative to our relationship.
I have a question about the ability of a person to perhaps switch attachment styles or adapt to a partner’s attachment style. Once they’re in a relationship, what researcher or studies or information, Jason, have you seen on a person’s level of adaptability or malleability in terms of their foundational attachment style?
Whatever you are diagnosed as a baby for many studies, 70% of them were still that attachment style. There’s another study where they did a four-year period. I think it was like 40% had changed over that timeframe. You can change your attachment style. It does happen naturally. Things happen in life. You get more mature and older. You can change it for sure. It does take work, but it also can change for the worst. Maybe all of a sudden you had great parents and great relationships and for some reason, you get into an abusive relationship. You’re going to be more anxious for a period of time until you get into a relationship towards a more secure person. That’s one of the questions I get a lot is, “Can I change it?” Yes, you can change it, but like anything, it takes work on your own. It may require therapy, especially if it’s more deeper, like the disorganized attachment where there’s sexual abuse or physical abuse. It can change. It takes work.
In the last episode with you, you talked a lot about the aspects and the attributes of a secure style. Reflecting on that, I don’t know that I came away from that conversation with you the last one like, “I want to strive to be a more secure person in my relationship, my attachment style.” I ask the question about malleability and adaptability because other than going to see a therapist, this might be too broad of a question. Have you read up or formulated yourself or practiced any exercises or ways of being in a context of a relationship to try and shift those things in real-time? Maybe that’s not the best way of asking this question. In any of these books, the experts are in your training, have you come across when you observe your avoidant tendency flare-up in this way, or you observe your anxious attachment flare-up in this way, try this exercise to feel more secure? Have you come across anything like that?
I’ve seen a lot, especially for anxious. It goes with the general anxious thing, mindfulness training, transcendental meditation, and simple breathing exercises. It’s about minimizing before you get triggered. Once you get triggered, it’s hard to turn off. Those pretty much fit in with that. For an avoidant, if you’re with somebody, it’s about both of you working together and talking out like, “What are your traits that are maybe not positive?” With an avoidant, one reason therapy is good is because there are repressed emotions in there. The avoidant is more challenging, but the anxious it’s about mindfulness training. Any type of thing that’s going to bring you down, whether it be meditation. It fits with normal therapy.
Have you gone into any somatic aspects of this? In terms of the therapy that I’ve done in the past, there was an aspect of the idea of trauma, or past pain being stored physically in the body. Not necessarily lighting up a specific center of our brain but being stored in joints, organs, and muscles. I’ve gone into studying some of that through my own therapy and trauma healing. I’m curious if you dove into any somatic bodywork or somatic experiencing where a therapist will identify as a child or a young person that a trauma you’ve experienced, you’ve stored in your stomach, your throat, or your liver. I’m curious if you’ve gone into any of the physiological aspects of trauma and how do those affect attachment styles.
I’ve seen a little bit about somatic. I don’t have a lot of knowledge on that yet. I will say from what I’ve read, it affects more than your mind. It does affect your body. From my experience with an avoidant, it seems all of a sudden you’re like, “Things are happening that never happened before.” It could be you’re getting a higher stress level, and if you’re at a higher stress level, it’s going to affect you in many ways, whether it be nausea or whatever. That’s about all I’ve seen so far about somatic.
At what point in the courting process of a lady do you get into this conversation? Is it a first date thing where you’re like, “I’m pegging you as an anxious. Am I right?” It may not be a rule. I’m not saying it’s a rule for you. At what point do you find yourself, when you are, say, these two people you’re having a conversation with TikTok? Do you dive into that aspect of interpersonal relationship? Do you go at it right away? Do you wait for a few dates? When do you open this conversation for investigation?
The unique part with, since I’m doing it, and if they ask what I’m doing, it usually comes out naturally. They ended up telling me. That’s a bonus. I think for the average person, you’re not going to figure it out in a day or two. I get asked that a lot. “How can you figure out if they’re anxious and they don’t want to be an avoidant? How do you avoid the avoidant?” That’s where it comes into learning all the attachment styles, so you can see those things. For one example you can see how their parents are. An avoidant will tend to not talk about their parents a lot. You’d be like, “How was your childhood?” She’d be like, “Great.” You ask, “How was your parents?” She replied, “Good, they worked a lot.”
They get away from the subject quickly. Where an anxious, you’re most likely to be, “My dad worked a lot. I love him but he was a little distant.” They’ll get into it, so that’s one way to see, “Are they secure or insecure?” We all put up our best face for the beginning of the dating world. Over time, you see the little things. The challenge is trying to find those things quicker. I can find it pretty quick, but it does take time. It’s knowing all the styles and know the little things that don’t trigger. Also, how it makes you feel too, if you’re all of a sudden becoming more anxious, or maybe you’re with an avoidant.
I was reading your episode on Toxic Masculinity. I did a video about alpha males, then I saw that and like, “They got it perfect.” A lot of dismissive-avoidants are alpha males. A lot of women are attracted to an alpha male because they give off that normal alpha male vibe, but because a lot of them are more dismissive-avoidant, they’re usually not a good pick for long-term. It’s fun, in certain ways for a year or two. A lot of dismissive-avoidants may not protect you or be there for the long haul. Where a secure person is there for the long haul, but they don’t seem as exciting to you. They don’t trigger your brain, which you’re used to. Secures comes off across as boring, which is unfortunate, but that’s the person who’s going to be with you for years down the road.
The alpha male stuff is so interesting that you bring up. First of all, thanks for diving into that episode on Toxic Masculinity. One of the challenges that I have faced has been confusing at points for me, Jason. I’m curious how you feel about the mixed messages about, “What women want?” I’ve realized that asking this question, what women want is a rabbit hole that has no end because I think a better quality question. It’s not the ultimate question, but what does the woman in front of me want? If I care about my partner’s desires, her needs, and her wants, instead of, “What do women want?” it’s “What does this woman want?” One thing that I’ve struggled with over the years is this mixed messaging, not from talking to girlfriends and friends that are girls and reading books, is this idea of the alpha male role of take control and be assertive. Speak up and leverage your energy and dominate the room. That’s what women want.
It’s this slightly evolved Neanderthal type of behavior where you go in, you know what you want. You’re clear about what you want and you take what you want. Women are like, “I love that. I want a man who’s divisive and takes action, who’s aggressive when he needs to be.” The other messages of like, “I want a man who can cry and show his emotions and doesn’t need to assume that role all the time.” I’ve gotten to the point where I acknowledge that I’m a sensitive man, and some people are taken aback by my level of sensitivity. I’m okay with being this sensitive. I’m okay with being this emotional.
The girl that I’m dating, Lori, she was laughing. She’s like, “I think on the third date, you cried.” I was like, “That’s how I wanted to show emotion.” It’s cool that you brought up this archetype of the alpha male. In some ways, I can see the value of assertiveness, clarity, decisiveness, and going after what you want. A lot of the societal issues we’re facing systemically are from this dominate, destroy, conquer mentality that is often associated with alpha masculinity that I don’t quite feel as in its expression that we’ve known for many years as healthy for society or healthy for the planet. I’m curious what your feelings are on that on a macro level.
It made me laugh because I was thinking back to when I got divorced. I was married for fifteen years and I didn’t know how to talk to women after that point. I hadn’t talked to another woman for fifteen years. I have a friend who’s a very alpha male. I would hang-out with him and he was almost coaching me. I didn’t want to be coached, but he was trying to coach me. I learned that the more I didn’t care or acted a dick. It’s like it’s attracting women. I didn’t like it. I had success with that a few times and I was like, “I don’t like that. That’s not me.” It feels weird. It attracted them, but that’s not the type of person that would be a long-term. I’m more sensitive. It’s hard to get that mixed because everybody wants the whole package, and it goes male and female.
I’m not an alpha male, but at the same time, I did twenty years in the military. I know how to protect you like an alpha male. At the same time, I’m going to be emotional around you too, if it needs to be. With these attachment styles, when I was with an avoidant. All of a sudden I’m, “Why am I crying? I don’t usually cry.” My kids never seen me cry and all of a sudden, I’ve become this person who cries once in a while. It’s interesting how that works, but it is challenging. I know with that one, they still want you to be the man, but also be sensitive. It’s an avoidant. They want you to be the man, but at the same time, they’re telling you what to do and you accommodated. That’s one thing I learned in therapy, I accommodated a lot. There’s no happy medium, it’s challenging. I’m sure it’s challenging for women too. We have all these things that we want from them also. The whole alpha male thing is interesting and challenging for sure to try to be everything because no one can be everything to everyone.It's challenging to try to be everything because no one can be everything to everyone. Click To Tweet
It’s so interesting you talk about this. Obviously, women have their own elements of trying to figure out like, “How can I be in order to attract the person that I want?” Also, “How can I find the right person that’s going to fit for me?” One thing I’ve been reflecting a lot on is not trying to be so controlling about these things. It’s almost as if it’s a bit in our ego, our desire to control and force things to turn out the way that we want them to. A lot of our feelings and relationships are based around security and getting our needs met. Sometimes we end up in this place of putting too much pressure on our partners and then not being accepting of them. That’s another thing. I do a lot of reading and research around emotional wellbeing beyond this show. One thing I’ve been working on a lot is surrender, which involves a lot of accepting what is. This is like a Buddhist and spiritual perspective on things, but it’s a thread through in a lot of the advice that I’ve come across about happiness and peace, finding joy and feeling joy. We’re conditioned to try to manipulate ourselves and other people. That’s why it’s like, “If I can find the perfect partner, I’m going to be in this great relationship.”
Anybody who has found somebody wonderful knows that even if they check off a ton of boxes or maybe even all the boxes that doesn’t mean you’re going to have a perfect relationship. It takes two people to be in a relationship. You also have to work on yourself. Know that you’re both changing all the time and things around you are changing. That surrender to me has become more important and the acceptance trying not to change myself all the time and trying not to change somebody else all the time. Allowing that change to happen has helped me feel more at ease in my relationships. Not romantic partners, but friends and family members. I spent so much in my life trying to change, either trying to change myself like, “Maybe if I do this, this person will accept me or they will behave differently around me.” “Maybe if I am this way, this person will love me.” In some of my dynamics, trying to change other people. I noticed that more and catch myself sometimes in these controlling ways.
Most people don’t respond well to that. That doesn’t make them feel good, especially in my relationships. I’ve certainly noticed that of trying to project what I want on to somebody else all the time instead of noticing them for who they are and being grateful for it. Noticing my reactions too. A lot of the times, the way that we’re reacting to things is all about us and not very much about that person. If we do more of that internal work and relax into our relationships, as we’re learning about them. I’m not saying not to learn and not to grow as people, but be less concerned about how we’re all showing up and be more present and notice the joy and find the gratitude in each other.
I love that you said that for several reasons. Number one, to try and get our needs met, and to try to feel safe and secure. Not in every relationship, but in some, especially when I was younger. I remember in high school and early college having this chameleonic approach to whoever I was with. Morphing, molding, and adapting my behavior to please them even if it meant I was going against natural instinct or my natural personality traits. There was this idea of, “I don’t want to lose this person. I need their love.” That was born out of my own abandonment issues. My abandonment issues manifesting in this chameleon behavior of on some level trying to manipulate them, by being something I wasn’t. That’s common in relationships depending on a person’s trauma or abandonment issues or whatever the case may be.
I observed that I’ve evolved to a point where. Like you said when I acknowledged that I’m a growing evolving person. I want to keep learning. I want to keep changing. I want to keep absorbing new perspectives and ideas and information. Who I am is not who I’m going to be 3, 5, 7, 10 years from now because of the natural curiosity and desire for growth and change. To go back to what Jason brought up about this alpha male stuff. I remember years back feeling scrawny and skinny. Somebody I was dating at the time was like, “Ryan Gosling is so hot.” I looked at his body and looked at how muscular he is. I started taking all this testosterone booster and I started going to the gym all the time.
I started getting aggressive sexually in the relationship. I was like, “This isn’t me.” I’m taking all this testosterone stuff, working out hard and being extra dominant in the bedroom. I realized that I was defaulting to that old behavior of trying to adapt to something that I think she wants that isn’t me. It’s dangerous because I found that I was losing so much of the core of who I was in the process, trying to be something I wasn’t. I’m glad I did it so I could experience those things, but I’m at the point where, “This is who I am, or at least who I think I am. I’m either your flavor of ice cream or I’m not. I’m a mint chocolate chip. If you want rocky road or triple raspberry fudge, go and find that elsewhere. I might have different toppings from time to time and different sauces on top, but at the core I know I am motherfucking mint chocolate chip.”
I’m curious about Jason’s perspective on this. It’s valuable to learn new things about ourselves. To uncover things and to understand ourselves better. Personal development is a big passion of mine and Jason Wrobel’s. It sounds like Jason Green as well. It’s like, “How can we improve?” Going back to what Jason Green was saying, we can also become obsessed with improving, getting better, and getting more changing all the time. To me, not only does it help for me to accept myself more, because the more I accept myself and say, “I’m okay, and I’m good the way I am. I’m worthy. I’m enough.” A huge issue is not feeling good enough. The more that I accept myself, the more I can relax into myself and then evolve when I feel. I’m changing as an experiment.
It’s like what you were saying, Jason. It’s nice to experiment with things, but I’m not doing it because I feel like I have to. The same thing is true in relationships. How good does it feel when you know that somebody loves you for who you are, and they accept you fully for who you are? They’re willing to be there with you as you evolve. There’s so much anxiety that we have with relationships. We’re trying to maintain things that nobody ever leaves us, and we never feel rejected. We tiptoe around. Maybe not everybody approaches it, but it seems like this very common thing is not wanting to disrupt the good that we have. When things get bad, it’s scary.
Maybe we feel like somebody is going to leave us and abandon us. This is something you’ve talked about, Jason Wrobel, that a lot of your fears around abandonment, and how you’ve had to struggle through that. How good does it feel if somebody says, “I accept you for who you are and I love you no matter what.” It’s that unconditional love that we get from our parents that’s so cherished. To have that in a relationship is such a beautiful thing. That’s a gift that I want to give somebody. As opposed to trying to get somebody to change or trying to find the perfect person or this idea of like, “I’m in this relationship, but there might be somebody else better.” We’re looking all the time in case somebody else better comes along. That energy makes me sad talking about it. How about you, guys? What are your feelings? Jason Green, as you’re creating all this content and talking to so many people about relationships all the time, where are you personally and professionally in terms of the amount that you change and try to fix and get better versus maybe relaxing more into acceptance?
It’s funny when I was here or with you guys, the whole world’s changed. I listened to that and I was planning on going to Europe and do all these things. Now travel is not a smart thing to do. The more you plan stuff, the less it’s going to happen, so you’ve got to let it happen. We evolve over time. Retiring from the military, the normal route is to do some type of management position, some type of military thing or government. I went to the nontraditional. It’s like, “No, I’m going to go to school. Take care of my kids full-time. Then I’m going to do my own thing, whatever that is.” I’m going to do the entrepreneurial thing, even if it’s less money. I was, “I want to be happy and I don’t want to have all that. It’s not worth the money.” I have changed over time. I’m sure there are some people, like my friends, family, social media. They’re like, “What’s going on with Jason? He’s not doing the normal route.”
I was going to move to Costa Rica at one point. I’m still thinking about it, but my friends were like, “Don’t go to Costa Rica. You need to stay here in the United States.” I’m like, “Why? There’s nothing wrong with Costa Rica.” You have that mindset of, “This is what you want to be, so you want everyone else to be like that?” No, I want to do my own thing. I’d rather not have to worry about having that 9:00 to 5:00 job and paying, working to pay the car. I want to experience what I want to experience because I know what’s going to make me happy. Whoever comes along in my life, I’m not going to force that. If someone comes, that’s great. If I have to wait another year or two before I get another relationship, then that’s okay. I’m okay being by myself. You do get lonely at times, but at the same time, it’s not worth it to get into something that’s not a good relationship. I’d rather be a little bit lonely here and there.
With this attachment work, is the aim to better understand yourself and other people, is the aim to improve so that you can be a better partner or be a better person. What do you think is the reason that people are drawn to this, or the reason that you were drawn to this? What do you think is the outcome of it that either you’re searching for, or you’re naturally getting by learning about attachments?
When I first discovered after my therapist, “I think she has this attachment style.” As I did the research, I had that a-ha moment. How does this person know everything that went on in our relationship? I’m helping people get that a-ha moment. That’s my joy doing that. That’s what got me into it. How do people not know about this? I feel it does help. Who knows once I get into a long-term relationship, how that will work, but it does help because at least now I have an understanding. When I dated an avoidant, she would make comments here and there. I didn’t realize the level of deepness those comments were. I can understand her.
Even though the relationship is over, “This is why she said this.” It wasn’t a small comment. There’s some level of deep hurt here that someone else caused that I had nothing to do with. I’m the one who has to deal with it at this point. I didn’t know how to deal with it at that point. Now, I have a better chance of dealing with that. I also know for myself, I don’t want to date another avoidant. If I’d figured that out quickly, unless they’re willing to work on themselves. That’s where I think has helped me. I know what I need. As I said in the last episode, the number of secure people, they’re limited in the dating world because they usually get married and in longer relationships.
This helps prepare the dating world for sure. You’ve got to know what you’re getting into and because the older you get, there’s more work to find that person that fits you. That’s why I’m like, “I want that one person to be my partner and grow old with. I don’t want to be with a bunch of women. I want that one person.” This helps me find that person hopefully quicker, or weed out the ones that are like, “No, this is going to be a waste of my next two years.” I want to focus on what could be around the corner.
I am curious about two things, Jason. If there is any corollary that you’ve read about research or in your own observational studies and teachings, any link between one particular attachment style and a higher incidence of narcissism or self-absorption. The second thing is in terms of a polyamory or multiple partners, or alternative forms of an intimate relationship, if there’s any corollary between a specific attachment style and those types of relationships.
As far as the narcissism, I’ve only seen one thing on this and I’m still learning about narcissism. Sometimes you can describe avoidant as a watered-down version of narcissism. Narcissism is a different whole other level and that’s way more extreme than an avoidant. There are certain types of narcissism that fit more with say an anxious or with an avoidant. I can’t remember offhand the name of those specific narcissisms, but there are some that fit that category more. They are separate, but I know there is some correlation within that. I’m glad you brought the polyamorous because you asked that last time and I didn’t have a good answer. I did find a study on that. If you have a general knowledge of attachment style, an avoidant has more sexual partners.
Usually they’re in and out of relationships more often. The avoidant would probably be more likely to be in a polyamorous relationship. The studies show that avoidants favor a polyamorous relationship more than the other attachment styles, but then they did a study of who’s actually in the polyamorous relationships. It’s more secure people. I thought about it as it’s because they have to share people. You have to be secure to be able to open communicate to have more than one partner and not have that jealousy of, “This guy’s got a six-pack and I don’t. They’re getting along better than we get along.” Secure are more in polyamorous, but avoidants tend to think that’s a better idea than the other attachment styles.
That is fascinating to me, but it also makes sense in terms of the jealousy, the overthinking or being self-critical. If someone who was extremely secure could handle a situation with multiple partners. There’s this idea of an avoidant being drawn to alternative or poly relationships because maybe they don’t have to be as deeply emotionally invested in each person. It’s like, “I can give 25% here, 15% here, 10% here and not be fully in each one.” That’s been one of my curiosities too in observing friends of mine who are in alternative poly relationships with multiple partners. Are you able to fully give and dedicate yourself fully to each partner? Whatever that means to each person. Is it like, “I’m giving this person 90% and this person 10%?” I wanted your perspective on that. I’m still curious about how people make that work, and I’m sure it’s different for every single person in every single context.
I’ve done some videos where you compare a secure with a secure dating and anxious. Avoidants tend to think it’s a great idea and maybe it is for some of them. If you have a group of avoidants together in a polyamorous relationship, that doesn’t vibe well at all. They’re both not going to give what they want from each other. It may be good for a short-term, but it’s in a long-term to avoidants don’t work well together. That’s probably why you don’t see a lot of them in there. There’s probably a mixture, I’m sure. There’s more secure than anything in polyamorous.
Do you have any jealous tendencies? Do you have any work that you’ve done around jealousy and relationships? To blow it out. First of all, in terms of how you’ve dealt with any jealousy in your life, and also is that something that you’ve covered with other people in terms of getting to the psychological root of jealousy or what’s going on underneath it?
Luckily, I think my anxious is not too bad unless I’m with an avoidant. It depends on the situation. It depends on who you are with, but I feel like I’ve had good people that I didn’t have to worry about that unless it’s put in front of me. I know one trait of an avoidant, it’s called a deactivating strategy, which I think I mentioned before. One of the things they may do is talk about like someone flirted with them or they reach out to maybe an ex. They’ll tell you about that, “I was at the store and this guy tried to get my number.” That’s the point where I’ll have some jealousy. That’s normal. Other than that, I have total trust in who I’m with. As long as they haven’t violated that trust, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt in advance.
Whit, what about you? Jealousy? I don’t know we never talked about this.
I’ve noticed in myself a desire to feel special and important, and that’s a thread through in a lot of my life. I haven’t fully gotten to the bottom of the root of that. Perhaps it was having a sister and getting envious of treatment, but we’re also six years apart. It’s like, “What else happened in that six-year period of my development that gave me that desire?” It’s a very common thing in our society. Sometimes we see these things perpetuating themselves. For example, we see people getting special treatment, and maybe there’s a natural tendency to want that. One of the draws in a relationship for me is to feel like I’m special and important to one person, which is not something that you get from many other people. Your friends have other friends. If you aren’t the only child, then your parents have another child.It’s not worth it to get into something that's not a good relationship. Click To Tweet
A romantic relationship is one of the rare cases where you could be the only one and the most important person. You have perhaps jealousy of their previous partners, or maybe you feel jealous if they’re ogling somebody else. Jason Wrobel brought up a celebrity like Ryan Gosling and getting into that comparison like, “They think that person’s attractive and I don’t look like that person, so maybe I need to look like that person so they’ll think that I’m equally as attractive and this is special.” That’s something that I reflect on a lot. In terms of your average forms of jealousy, I don’t think I get that jealous. I wouldn’t consider myself a jealous person. A lot of that is learning to be more secure with myself and not worrying about superficial things.
Going back to what I said before, it’s releasing this desire to control. I can’t control if somebody feels attracted to somebody else. I don’t want there to be shame in that either. I feel attracted to different men, even when I’m in relationships. I might not verbalize it. Men might not even know that. I think jealousy doesn’t serve us very much. I’ve worked on not allowing that to get to me too much. Jason Green, as we start to wrap things up, my final question for you is that what is the outcome that you want with your work? You’re saying it feels good to support people and teach them about attachment styles. What do you think is that driving force for you? If there’s one big outcome that people get from your TikTok, your podcast and the work that you’re doing with this, what is it that you would love to give people through your work?
I hope that I can help minimize their hurt. One driving force, honestly, one ex of mine led me to this and I don’t want them to feel like how I felt. Where I felt I tried hard and it seemed like the worse it got, the more effort I put into it. I understand why that went that way. I want to help people, hopefully, get a better chance of either saving that relationship or picking a better partner in the future. Life’s short. You don’t want to spend your whole life trying to find that one quicker, you can find them the better and then work at it because it takes work.
It’s helping them find that person, and then you can worry about all the other things that come along with life. Ultimately, we all want to be with somebody and enjoy life. Hopefully, I can at least reach as many people as possible. TikTok’s crazy the way it’s been happening, but I’ll accept it for sure. I want people to not have to go through as much hurt. Some of the people, especially the anxious people, they feel like they did all the wrong in the relationship. It takes two to fail where relationships fail. Sometimes, one’s trying harder than the other. I want them to understand you do what you could do, but both people have to work at it for things to work.
I feel like you having a show of some kind, Jason, I got a flash as you were saying that of what your hope is in terms of helping people with their pain and sorting through all of this.
What if your podcast is like people call in and you diagnose them? What is your vision for your podcast on that note, Jason, as you’ve been developing it?
It’s funny you say that. My oldest son is a fan of Shark Tank, and he loves Barbara Corcoran. She has a thing where they call and leave a voicemail and she answers the questions. He’s like, “You need to do something like that.” I’ve thought about that because TikTok, the trend is you reply to someone’s comment and put it up on the screen.
Pat Flynn has that in his podcast AskPat and people can record voice memos, similar to what Barbara is doing. That style could be cool if not doing a live recording and have a new person each time.
I’m going to start with the podcast by explaining attachment styles, which is about twenty episodes. I’m going to get detailed. From there I’m going to see how it progresses, but I do want to have interaction with other people like you guys. I thought about some of these psychologists and therapists on TikTok to get of something. I also like the question and answer thing too because it is hard for me to answer all the TikTok questions. Sometimes I get 100 questions or comments in one day.
Jason, I always come away from these conversations feeling like I have more tools and more perspectives to certainly put the rubber to the road that I’m in a relationship. There’s some service you could offer for people in real-time, maybe through Voxer or some app where people could hire you for real-time relationship coaching like, “I’m in this situation where she feels needy and I feel like I want to push her away. What should I do?” People will send you a voice memo on Voxer. I feel like you could have a monthly service for that where not at midnight but for people to reach you in real-time, “I’m in this situation, what do I do?”
Jason Green, there are a number of services like that. That’s a great idea, Jason Wrobel. I love that we’re giving you tips on this. Maybe other people would enjoy these things too, or second what we’re saying or maybe start their own similar businesses. There are great tools out there where people can pay you by the minute or by packages to get advice. That’d be lovely. Maybe not in Voxer.
What is the modern-day equivalent of that?
Maybe people do still use it and maybe I’m sounding ignorant on this. There was a platform that I was approached to be on and it was a mentor type of thing where you share your expertise and people can pay you by the minute or by the session. I can send it over to Jason Green to try that out too. That’s a lovely idea to a support system, whether it’s immediate or within 24 hours. Getting that support in your life with relationships would be helpful.
I’ve been practicing with my friends and family. My one cousin went through a relationship and break-up. He would tell me stuff and I’d be, “Did they do this, this and this?” I’d be like, “Yes, they do that.” He’d be like, “How do you know that?” I’m like, “It’s because of attachment styles.” The next thing you know, he’s taking the quiz and everything. I’ve been picking Whitney’s brain for a lot of the stuff because, unlike the vegan podcast that I’ve put on hold because of this, it’s going to come fast. I’m like, “How do I reach to as many people as possible?” I’ve been asking her a lot of questions but trying to get this podcast up and quickly.
It’s an evolution and we’re grateful that you took the time to be on our show again. We can’t wait to watch. Maybe you’ll be back again for a third episode, who knows? I’m super excited to listen to that podcast. Maybe by the time somebody is reading this, your new podcast, Jason Green, will be out. Maybe Jason Wrobel will start doing more TikTok. If anything, Jason Green is such an amazing case study for anybody considering using TikTok as a medium to grow your influence and to reach a bigger audience to inspire people, educate them. TikTok is a wonderful place for that. I am enjoying watching Jason Green’s journey with that.
Thank you for sharing more about it and to the audience, thank you for reading, especially since our episodes are lengthy. We hope you learned a lot about attachments and Jason Green as a person. We would love to hear from you. You can reach us on social media. All three of us have our own accounts. Plus, we have an account for this show which is @Wellevatr. You can DM us. Maybe you’ll be able to DM Jason Green on TikTok once he gets out at TikTok. He’s @RelationshipAttachments. I think I can speak for all three of us. You can reach out to us. You can also email me and Jason Wrobel at [email protected]. Maybe on your website, you’ll have a new service for helping people out and getting some customized support there on that site. We look forward to seeing how all your work evolves. I can’t wait to check in with you again soon on another episode.
Thank you guys for having me a second time. It’s awesome. There will be a lot more developments as this evolves over.
Jason, you’re amazing. We’d love to see you on a road trip, Whitney and I are long overdue for another road trip. Perhaps our journeys will take us through Arizona. Thanks so much for taking the time to elucidate, educate and inspire. Readers, thank you for joining us for this deep exploration as we do spelunk and unearth some of the deepest machinations, musings, and mindfulness things on this journey of life with you. Thanks for being with us.
- Jason Green
- World of Attachment Styles – Previous episode
- Avoidant: How to Love (or Leave) a Dismissive Partner
- Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
- Attachment in Psychotherapy
- Attachment Test by Dr. R. Chris Fraley
- Toxic Masculinity – Previous episode
- Ask Pat – Pat Flynn’s Podcast
- @Wellevatr – Facebook page
- @RelationshipAttachments – TikTok
- [email protected]
About Jason Green
Jason Green is the host of the podcast Relationships and Relationshits. He started his journey of teaching Attachment Styles by accident. What started with an appointment with a therapist to save the relationship, turned into learning about Attachment Styles. And his journey to reach thousands of people to share this knowledge started on this very podcast. He just wanted to recommend a book to Jason through Whitney after hearing Jason talk about his father on the podcast. And because of that moment he has been able to help thousands more and it started here.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the This Might Get Uncomfortable community today: